Thursday, September 23, 2010

All I ever wanted.....

Ya know, all I ever wanted was to fit in. To be accepted and loved for who I was, to be viewed as a worthwhile person, in spite of my flaws. And I do have flaws, boy, do I have flaws. I wish I didn't, but some of those flaws are not my fault, they're the result of things that were done to me as a child, and later on as a teenager and an adult. It's water under the bridge and can't be changed. I don't know if I'll ever be able to completely let go of the anger and pain - it seems that every time I have, something happens to bring it all back again (and maybe I hadn't let it go, maybe I'd just buried it).
But, I've never felt like I've fit in anywhere, and I've always felt like the odd man out in any setting I've ever been in. There's a saying that family has to take you in when no one else will. That's true, in a way. It may not be the family you're born into, it may be the family you've built for yourself through friendships and marriage (and sometimes, that family is closer than the family you were born into).
I'm going to consider myself lucky that I have my dad back in my life, I've had my aunt in my life for quite a few years now, and I'm getting to know my cousin again. I think they accept me for who I am and love me anyway (at least I hope they do, I know I love them, a lot). And I'm certainly lucky to have my husband. He loves me just the way I am and accepts me, flaws and all, and I love him, flaws and all. I have my son in my life and I love him and his wife, too. I have grandkids in my life and I love them and they love me. So I guess I've finally found that place where I fit in and am loved and accepted by the ones who really matter to me. It's not completely the family I was born into, it's partly my birth family and partly the family I've made for myself, but it's mine and it's where I fit, finally.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Taking charge of my health - in spite of my doctor

Got home from vacation last week - went to see my dad in Illinois and caught up on family news. Also found out more about our family health history, and what I learned didn't make me happy with my doctor.
Now, Dr W knows that my paternal grandfather had thyroid cancer and my mother had hypothyroid problems. She knows my thyroid is enlarged and I have several nodules. What tests has she ordered to check my thyroid function? TSH and that's it - she thinks that's the only one that's necessary, even with the family history she has and the results of the thyroid ultrasound scan. I've been trying to get Dr W to do further testing of my thyroid, but she says it's not needed right now, my TSH levels aren't high enough (at 3.5, I think she said). So I decided, fuck her, I'm going to find an endocrinologist and get this checked out on my own. Well, guess what - can't do that. Have to have a referral from Dr W. So I called and set up the appointment with her for next week to tell her I want a referral to this certain endocrinologist (who is taking new patients and takes TriCare and Medicare, thank Maude, I love my Google-fu). She's going to have order a pre-T3, pre-T4, and another TSH. Then she's going to have to fax the results of those, my demographics, any progress notes, and my thyroid scan to the endo. I have a feeling Dr W is not going to be happy about that, but I don't really give a rat's ass. It's my health she's pissing around with, and I don't want to end up like my grandfather - 85 years old, with thyroid cancer so advanced that it can't all be removed because if they took it all, he wouldn't be able to talk or swallow. He was told afterward that even with chemo, he only had 3 - 5 months to live (he fooled them, he stuck around for another 5 years).
So, I also found out that my maternal grandmother had to have B-12 injections, as did one of her sons and my mother (yeah, that's good news for me, what with having had WLS....NOT). Lovely news, that. Luckily for me, I've been taking sublingual B-12 for the last 6 months or so, hoping it would help with fibromyalgia symptoms, so hopefully that will help.
Then, I was reading on the Yahoo support group for WLS survivors that some of us are ending up with MS after 10 to 15 years or so. Just what I needed to hear, especially since my neurologist had brought that possibility up last year when I had the MRI done for my migraines - she found a couple of lesions that could mean MS and wanted to do another MRI in a year to see if there was any progression. Well, it's been more than a year, I think (I've slept at least a couple of times since then, and my memory just isn't the greatest when it comes to what happened when anymore). Since I have to see her next month after I have the EMG to see why the carpal tunnel surgery didn't solve the problem of the numbness in my right hand, I'll ask her about it then.
I keep telling myself that I don't have it as bad as other survivors of WLS, that I don't have as many of the debilitating complications as they have - but I tell you what, if I had had any idea of how fucked up our family medical history is and what the real complications of WLS are (the ones that they don't tell you about when they're getting you to sign on the dotted line for having the damned surgery), I would have told my nurse practitioner to stick it in her ass. That I'd stay fat and suffer with fucked up knees and fight to get them replaced when necessary instead of having to deal with all the shit I'm having to deal with now.